Whatever is happening in Maharashtra is very dangerous for the country. It’s not only a question of Bihar or Biharis. Things are drifting ahead and if they are not checked urgently, then it could be very detrimental for the country. That’s why I am urging the Union Government and the Prime Minister to intervene without any delay. For, it is the responsibility of the Union Government to protect the interests of the country.
Political leaders are shooting their mouths off in a very irresponsible manner and common citizens are bearing the brunt. This should stop immediately. The Prime Minister should take the lead and convene a meeting of leaders from Bihar and Maharashtra to find a solution. The “hate campaign” against Hindi-speaking people is spreading each day. It has now touched the icons (even some film stars have come out to support the intolerance). The direction this is taking or the one that’s being given to this issue is certainly not in the national interest.
It is sad that the Centre so far hasn’t taken the matter seriously. If the Centre does not intervene, it will send a wrong signal. Several questions will be raised. It may be construed that the Centre has given consent towards vitiating the atmosphere in Maharashtra. This is very dangerous.
So far as migration of people from Bihar and north India to Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra is concerned, it should be clear that there is nothing illegal about it. India is one country. It is the Constitutional right of its every citizen to work and settle anywhere in this country.
Further, Biharis have contributed immensely to the economic growth of Mumbai and Maharashtra. Without labour from Bihar and other north Indian states, would it have been possible to undertake the huge construction work in Mumbai and other parts of the country? Haven’t masons and labourers from Bihar contributed in building the skyscrapers that Mumbai today boasts of? You welcome migrants when their labour and skill are needed. And once economic growth is achieved, you turn them into hate figures. Is this fair?
I accept that the backwardness of Bihar and the eastern region is a key factor that leads people to migrate to other parts of the country in search of employment. But that’s not the whole truth. There are social factors too. However, economic growth of Bihar in particular and the eastern region in general is the need of the hour to end regional imbalances.
For a long time, Bihar has been asking for a special economic package from the Centre. The state has always suffered from a development deficit due to lopsided economic policies of the Centre.
Bihar and the eastern region need special attention and care to catch up with the rest of the country. It is very essential for the country too. India cannot hope to become developed, peaceful and prosperous if the eastern region lags behind.
Ever since my government came to power in the state, we have been pressing for the economic package. In 2004, both the President and the Union Finance Minister, in their speeches during the Budget session, talked about it. But sadly, even after five years it has not come.
The economic package will spur a host of activity in the state. People will have plenty of job opportunities in their home state. Then the compulsion to migrate to other states will end. Already, my government has undertaken construction work on a huge scale and the results are positive. Migration figures from Bihar have decreased to great extent. Some time back, I was in Punjab and people there confirmed that the number of people coming from Bihar has decreased to a great extent. When my Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was in Gujarat last year, industrialists urged him to make an appeal to Biharis to come to their state.
The motto of my government is very clear. People should not be compelled to leave the state to earn just two square meals for themselves and their families. If they want to go out for their own betterment, they are welcome to do so and they should be welcomed wherever they go. My government is committed to achieving such a situation. We are working hard to improve the situation, it has improved a lot but a lot remains to be done. Support from all quarters, particularly the Centre is needed. Bihar deserves a special economic package. The public and the private sector, too, should come forward and invest in the state. It will benefit them. Bihar has tremendous potential. It should be harnessed if the country wants to become developed. Moreover, development of Bihar and the eastern region is imperative for peace and prosperity in the country.
The immediate danger for peace and prosperity in India, however, is the situation in Mumbai and Maharashtra. I urge, repeat, urge the Centre to realize the danger it poses for the country and intervene towards an amicable solution.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Nitish Speaks Out-You welcome migrants to build skyscrapers and once done, you hate them
Political leaders are shooting their mouths off in a very irresponsible manner and common citizens are bearing the brunt. This should stop immediately. The Prime Minister should take the lead and convene a meeting of leaders from Bihar and Maharashtra to find a solution. The "hate campaign" against Hindi-speaking people is spreading each day. It has now touched the icons (even some film stars have come out to support the intolerance). The direction this is taking or the one that's being given to this issue is certainly not in the national interest.